The Red Menace

Split Screen

Episode 14

robot.jpgWhile the majority of our heroes were on their way to find an airship, Percy and Crispin stayed behind to oversee the distillation of beer to fuel their bomb. While they were in the lab, Percy watched as every reference to the House Kor To’gian and their airships vanished from the data banks. Crispin feared their colleagues were headed for a trap and the two — along with Opal — rushed out to intercept them.

Meanwhile, Joe and Charlie were trapped in an elevator while Dash and Penelope were up the stairs trying to unlock the door to the next level. Dash disabled the lock and managed to force the door partially open. Through the gap he saw a spinning red light and a huge metal pincer reaching down to shut the doors. He shoved his foot in the gap to keep the door open and looked around.

From below, they heard noises and could see the board covering the portal down being shifted. They trained their weapons on the new threat and the doorway above them slammed shut. Thankfully, when the board was slid aside they found Percy, Crispin and Opal and not a new threat.

Joe and Charlie tried to remove anything possible from the elevator that could help them escape. Joe had pulled off a long piece of trim and squeezed it between the doors, but could not force them open. They felt the elevator shift slightly down and began to hear noises above their heads.

They reunited group moved to the opposite stair to avoid the pincers, and Dash disabled this lock as well. When they forced the door, they could see the underside of some kind of vehicle blocking their path. They tried shooting it and jolting it with a cattle prod, but it did not budge. Penelope decided she could squeeze through the gap and climbed up to the next level. The blocking vehicle, which seemed to be some kind of unmanned forklift with a spinning light atop, did not give chase but the other one revved up and gave chase. She hid among the crates in the darkened storage area and played a game of cat-and-mouse with the slow-moving machine.

Dash followed and fired his shotgun at the less-protect upper section. It lurched forward at him, and Crispin climbed up and swung at it with his prod. The blow struck home and the vehicle shuddered while the charge went through it. Dash followed up by leaping on top of it and firing point-blank at the lens inside the circle or red light. The vehicle lashed out wildly, and the others took notice of its distress. They followed up by firing at the light of the other forklift and shattering it as well.

Inside the elevator, they heard three knocks on the roof of the elevator. It strained upward and then the roof of the carriage ripped off showing a long shaft and three figures in the darkness above, firing downward. Joe boosted Charlie out of the carriage and onto the ladder set into the shaft. He followed after, leaping to the edge of the elevator car.

The figures above looked like martian suits without heads, and only a trailing circle of light at their necks. They fired wide-barreled weapons down at the pair, which burst on contact and starting spewing smoke. Joe leaped from the ladder to the dangling cables of the elevator and began to climb. Charlie succumbed to the power of the gas and slid down into the cloud.

Between his great strength and Mar’s lighter gravity, Joe made short work of climbing and soon found himself 40-feet up and facing the inside of an elevator door. His first swing wash’t far enough to get a good grip and he failed to pry the doors open. The three figures, one following up the cable turned to intercept. One fired from below but did not dislodge the bulky janitor.

In the storage room, the group could hear gunshots from beyond the wall, but there was no door into the central pillar. They circled around, and discovered a large elevator door on the rear side. Forcing it open(and only then discovering the forklifts featured a key-like tool) they entered a large workmanlike elevator. Dash pressed the lowest panel and the car quickly dropped to the street level. The doors opened up and the lights and other power immediately shut off.

Unable to get the elevator to climb, the group returned to the stairs. They climbed three levels up and found another sealed door with water leaking through the seam.

The water was coming from sprinklers in the ceiling above. When Joe forced the door open on this level, they started spraying down the entire open area. Joe sprinted to the window, which was covered by a thin fabric shade leaving the area in hazy shade. The robots — for that is what he determined they were — climbed through the gap and gave chase.

He worked his way around the edge and found one of the pillars was much thicker than the others. As he closed he could see the outline of a door in the pillar. He also noticed sparkling coming from loose cables that startled dangling down from the ceiling. Not will to find out what happened next, he slammed into the doorway and tried to shove the door aside. It crumpled before his assault, but not before electric lines snaked down from the ceiling and tried to jolt him. He shook off the shock and tumbled into the center of the pillar, which seemed to be a narrow stairway making its way up.

Dash made short work of the lock below and forced open the door — drenching himself and the others in water from above. This was spotted by two of the headless robots. They lumbered over and fired their gas-filled cartridges through the gap. Crispin struck the nearest with his cattle prod, but it also shook off the electricity. But the charge must have traveled through the soaked carpet above, as the other robot was wreathed in sparks and crumpled to the floor. They followed up by shooting out the power supply on the first suit — clearing a path for them to explore the fourth level.

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